We’ve had enough of digital monopolies and surveillance capitalism. We want an alternative world that works for everyone, just like the original intention of the web and net.

We seek a world of open platforms and protocols with real choices of applications and services for people. We care about privacy, transparency and autonomy. Our tools and organisations should fundamentally be accountable and resilient.


hellekin [LibreList] Re: [redecentralize] Check out Hiveware's decentralized platform (as in no servers) 2015-09-02 13:06:32 (5 years 8 days 06:23:00 ago)
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On 09/02/2015 12:05 PM, Robert Tischer wrote:
> RT>"open source" for me is tantamount to promiscuous copying without
> regards to ownership of intellectual property rights. Only the early
> days of communism believed this was an ideal. But no one but a thief
> would dream of going into a retail store and walking out with
> someone else's material property today.

Well, that's the point: "intellectual property" is not physical
property.  Only a fool would sustain that their ideas and intellectual
capacity comes out of the blue.  As Isaac Newton famously wrote: "I'm
sitting on the shoulders of giants".  Before "intellectual property"
appeared, there was science and culture.  Even during wartime, as
restricted as exchange between intellectuals might be, scientists know
no borders, and build on each other's knowledge.  The free software
movement can be considered yet another contribution to human knowledge
and culture, on par with scientific knowledge.

The arts show that you can pay for a work and make it available to the
public without further fee.  Artists paid for their work don't complain
that they don't get a fee for each visitor.  Second-hand bookstore are
not illegal.  Public libraries either.

"Intellectual property" is a confusing legal construct that covers
anything from authorship rights to patent laws.  It would be akin to say
that a fence, a kitchen, and a book belong to the same "physical

> my way of thinking as a psycholinguist

I don't have the pleasure to know the field of psycholinguistics, but I
certainly can understand how language can be used for psychological
framing.  The narratives bring forth world views that shape reality in a
way suitable for understanding.  The narrative of "redecentralize", as
far as I understand it, is about redistributing power to the users of
technologies, to involve them in their creation, not only their
consumption.  If you see, as a psycholinguist, technological innovation
as something coming from experts and dependent on them, I'm sorry to
tell you that it's a vision from another Century.  The new narrative
involves peer production and common experimentation.  Products driven by
commercial plans fail to address the complexity of human life.
Complexity that we must embrace if we are to succeed in building a
sustainable society on this planet.  It is unfortunate but true that
economics is the politics of capital, and the new narrative must convey
the idea that economics should be pushed back to its original
application of serving human communities, not special interests.
"Redecentralization" is about empowering our communities, not shifting
from global masters to other global masters.  That is the process of
revolution: using the masses to help a ruling class overthrowing another
ruling class.  This won't help us achieve global sustainability in any
case.  The power shift requires both global coordination and local
autonomy.  Only software freedom can achieve the latter.  As to the
former, only politics can do it.  Technology alone, especially
proprietary technologies, cannot provide the necessary empowerment for
local communities to adapt it to their actual needs, and no special
committee can ever encompass in their vision all the complexity of local

I understand perfectly the need to secure one's own way of living.  But
I don't think that requires artificially restricting other people's
initiative to do so.  This is a colonialist vision, the still dominant
vision of out times.  Hegemony of a self-proclaimed superior class that
knows better will never help us pass this century.

> the forced philosophy of "open source"

There's no such thing as the philosophy of "open source", forced or not.
 Open source is a reduction of the free software philosophy to its
engineering aspect, specifically designed to tame corporate fears about
anything social.  It succeeded in bringing free software to the
mainstream, but it fails to inflect technological innovation towards
inclusive goals beyond the elite class of technologists.

> interlocking software structures. This is what Hiveware does.

I'm not sure that interlocking software structures can do any good.  Can
you expand on this aspect of your discourse?

> Imagine the ability to sell someone a digital item and repossess
> it if some part of the payment fails?

Imagine the ability to sell someone a computer, and be able to remove
contents from it that you deem inappropriate.  That's exactly what
Amazon did with books, what Apple does with its hardware, and what
Lenovo does when it prevents me from changing the network card to one
that I prefer, that is technically compatible with my computer, but
didn't pass their commercial vendor agreement specifications (i.e., it
doesn't have a backdoor built-in).  Now, imagine if your car vendor
would deem appropriate to prevent you from driving certain roads that
were not available when they sold you the car: right, nobody would
accept this.  Yet, many accept that hardware or software vendors have a
say on what you can do with "your own", legally purchased items and
"intellectual property".

Digital contents pose different issues than physical objects, and
certainly something must be done to enable content (and software)
producers to receive fair payment for their work.  But I don't think
limiting availability is a satisfactory way of doing so.

> "Why do I need to send data through a server?" Doesn't
> really make much sense if you can guarantee un-eaves-droppable
> end-to-end delivery.

But end-to-end delivery uses a multitude of servers and routers, so it's
just not about who owns the content.  The Internet infrastructure is not
virtual and it actually costs a lot to companies who don't get a dime of
royalty on your software.

> meaning folk's notions of privacy and possession

Possession and property are very distinct concepts.  I'm very fine with
people possessing stuff.  Owning property is another thing entirely,
that depends on the capacity to enforce such property.

> The real problem is how to organize piecemeal encrypted transport.

Well, besides the fact transport is only one part of the equations,
there are plenty of free software project addressing this need, and they
have no need to restrain use, modification, distribution, or access to
their source code in any way to do so.  Moreover, as you must know,
peer-to-peer systems work best when more people use it.  If the Internet
Protocol was covered by restrictive "intellectual property", we
certainly wouldn't have this conversation.

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